New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler was reportedly held out of organized team activities for three weeks after missing a fight to Boston.
According to the report, Butler showed up late for the first day of OTAs on May 18 after his attempt to arrive in Boston the day before was pushed back due to the weather.
The Herald reports that the cornerback will be back on the field this week and that he was “very disappointed” to be held out of practice but treated it as a lesson. From the report:
It's a hard disciplinary measure for the second-year cornerback and Super Bowl hero, who did reach out to the team to let them know of his canceled flight, but players are often advised to travel early enough to avoid weather-related delays. Still, the three-week ban is longer than any known related incidents for past players, especially during a voluntary workout program.
NFL Network's Albert Breer reports that the NFL Players Association is looking into a potential violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement by the Patriots.
CBA Article 21, Section 5(a) reads:
“No Club official may indicate to a player that the Club's off-season workout program or classroom instruction is not voluntary (or that a player's failure to participate in a workout program or classroom instruction will result in the player's failure to make the Club or result in any other adverse consequences affecting his working conditions.)
Butler intercepted Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson at the goal line to seal the Patriots' win in Super Bowl XLIX. He played in 11 regular season games for New England last season, recording 19 tackles and seven passes defended.
The 25-year-old Butler went undrafted out of West Alabama in 2014, eventually signing with the Patriots. He is entering his second NFL season and is expected to compete for a starting cornerback spot.
- Molly Geary